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High school football: Weber Warriors 2019 preview

Note: Weber finished with a 7-4 overall record in 2018 and was first in Region 1 with a 6-0 record. It lost to American Fork 45-31 in the 6A quarterfinals.

Weber’s 2018 Offensive and Defensive Stats

PLEASANT VIEW, Weber County — For years, the Weber Warriors were more punching bag than title contender.

Prior to 2017, in what was then 90 years of Weber High history, the Warriors won just five region titles.

The program's overall win-loss record was well under .500 as well, and still is for that matter.

In 90 years, the Warriors qualified for the playoffs only 17 times, an average of one playoff berth every five and a half years.

That all changed in 2017.

That season and the one following witnessed a great revival for Weber football, perhaps not on par with state championship winning seasons in 1985 and 1999, but still among the best Warriors fans had ever seen.

Weber won back-to-back Region 1 titles, a first in program history, and did so without losing a single game to its region foes.

The Warriors became the representatives of the “North,” and advanced as far as the 6A quaterfinals in back-to-back seasons.

While the head coach behind the revival, Matt Hammer, is gone, along with most of the main contributors on the field, the Warriors have no intention of taking a step back in 2019.

“For the longest time Weber High wasn’t known for winning,” Weber head coach Jayson Anderson said. “Coach Hammer did a great job changing the culture, getting (this program) to the point where winning is the expectation. That is the big thing. We expect to be up there. It isn’t a hope anymore, it is an expectation.”

The Warriors bring back a solid amount of returners from last year’s team, enough that Anderson believes in his team's chances.

“We have good depth in key positions. We’ve got guys going both ways, but I feel like we have good depth,” he said. “Our drop from our twos to our threes isn’t that far and even our ones to our twos. A region title means something up here and it is something that we are proud of and we expect to be in the conversation year in and year out.”

More than that, this year's Warriors hope to prove themselves even better.

“We still have to go out and prove it on the field, but we want to make more noise in the state tournament," Anderson said. "Two years in a row we have exited in the quarterfinals and we want to make the jump. We want to be with the big dogs, the big boys, be in that conversation and compete at that level.”

Weber Warriors at a glance

Coach: Jayson Anderson is entering his first season as head coach at Weber High. He takes over for Matt Hammer, who left to become the inside linebackers coach at Weber State University. Anderson was the cornerbacks and tight ends coach for the Warriors in 2018, and the team’s defensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015. From 2016 through 2017 Anderson was the head coach at Logan High School, where he went 3-17 before stepping down. Anderson also had coaching stints at Snow College and Box Elder High School. He is a graduate of Box Elder High School, attending Snow College and earned a degree through the Utah State extension campus in Ephraim.

Anderson’s comments on new UHSAA RPI:

“I like the thought of it, but I hate that I feel like they’ve taken the value out of a region championship. I am OK if they do the RPI if you guarantee a region champions a bye. Right now, you are telling everyone to schedule whomever they want and just play the best teams. You are taking away the fun of region, they don’t mean anything anymore. I like the thought of (the RPI), although I also question the whole 'everyone makes the playoffs.' Does everyone get a trophy, are we moving back to that kind of thing? I am OK with it if they gave region champions a bye for sure. Then region play means something.”

Weber Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Jayson Anderson

2018 offensive production: 26.9 ppg (11th in 6A)

-- Six returning starters

-- Multiple schemes

Key offensive returning starters

-- Kohl Hogan (QB)

Threw for nearly 2,000 yards (1901) and 15 touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a Region 1 championship. In addition to completing 120 of 224 pass attempts last season, Hogan rushed for 623 yards and six touchdowns.

-- Parker McClure (C)

Is one of four returning starters on the Warriors’ offensive line, which is expected to be among the strengths of Weber’s offensive attack.

Returning offensive starters

Gabe Aurich (OT)

Carter Call (OT)

Kohl Hogan (QB)

Parker McClure (C)

Jackson McAuley (G)

Braeden Hart (WR)

Offensive newcomers to watch

Trey Dean (WR)

Tyler Short (RB)

Luke Johnson (K)

Aisea Moa (WR)

Cannon Devries (QB)

Luke Willden (TE)

Anderson’s comments on Warriors’ offensive line:

“If you are good up front you are going to be successful and we have guys that we feel will be good football players up front. We still have to go out and prove it on the field to see if we are where we think we are, but we are excited for it. Having guys up front is any coach's dream and I think that is where the strength of our team is for sure.”

Anderson’s comments on replacing elite skill players:

“The biggest thing is last year, those skill positions were the strength of our team, which is almost the exact opposite this year. We had Hudson Schenck, Brandt Opheikens, Sione Moa and Josh Carter, guys who signed four-year scholarships and are playing at the next level. It is hard to replace four guys who make those kind of plays. We have guys who have some varsity time, but not a lot. That is the question, how will they respond to the speed? I think we are coming along, we aren’t there yet. Braeden Hart could be successful, Aisea Moa, Sione’s brother, Cannon Devries is another kid and Luke Willden. We have guys, they just aren’t tested yet.”

Anderson’s comments on Warriors’ offensive approach:

“It is going to be multiple sets, some spread, but under center too. We want to do it by personnel.”

Keys for offensive success in 2019:

It’ll all come down to the development of skill players this season. Weber has starting quarterback Kohl Hogan back and he should have plenty of time in the pocket with the Warriors' offensive line. Who he’ll get the ball to is the big question, however, as Weber is inexperienced at almost every skill position.

Weber Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Billy Pluim

2018 defensive production: 17.4 ppg (3rd in 6A)

-- Four returning starters

-- 3-4 defense

Key defensive returning starters

-- Tyler Short (LB)

Racked up the second-most tackles by any Warrior in 2018, with 88 total wrap-ups. Also recorded three sacks last season. His best showing came against Northridge, when he had 16 tackles.

-- Trevor Lewis (DT)

With 22 tackles and sack, Lewis one of the more important pieces along the Warriors’ defensive line a season ago. Had his best game against Roy, when he tallied four tackles and a sack.

Returning defensive starters

Dylan Yearsley (DE)

Nic Erickson (LB)

Tyler Short (LB)

Trevor Lewis (DT)

Defensive newcomers to watch

Trey Dean (LB)

Braeden Hart (CB)

Parker McClure (DT)

Jackson McAuley (DL)

Anderson’s comments on the Warriors’ defensive approach:

“We are going to run a 3-4. It is a little of both, personnel and personal preference. Coach Pluim likes the 3-4, he likes what you can do with it, but at the same time, we will change our front. The base of our defense is a 3-4, but we will get into some four- and five-down stuff when needed.”

Anderson’s comments on Warriors’ linebackers:

“I really like our linebackers. They are a really solid group, led by Tyler Short, who is a three-year starter and consistently one of the best tacklers in the state if you look at his statistics. Nick Erickson is a guy who had a lot of time last year too. I really like our two inside 'backers. A couple guys are rotating in at the outside spot that should have a good year too.”

Keys for defensive success in 2019:

It is all about the secondary for the Warriors, as they bring back starters on the defensive line and at linebacker, players who helped Weber have the third-best defense in 6A a season ago. If the secondary can develop the Warriors should be able to avoid a step back.

Bottom line

Over the past two seasons, there hasn’t been a better team in Region 1 than the Weber Warriors, which a perfect 12-0 region record in 2017 and 2018 speaks to. That excellence was spurred in large part by both former head coach Matt Hammer and a special group of players who have gone on to play college ball. Still, the Warriors don’t and shouldn’t expect a major drop-off, what with the return of quarterback Kohl Hogan, a strong offensive line and a good amount of starters in the front seven of their defense. The Warriors have the potential to win yet another region title, but also have a chance to be undone by inexperience.

Coaches preseason Region 1 straw poll: Fourth

Deseret News Region 1 prediction: Fourth

Key Region Game: vs. Fremont, Sept. 26 (Week 7)

2019 Schedule

Aug. 16 — BINGHAM, 7 p.m.

Aug. 23 — at Bountiful, 7 p.m.

Aug. 30 — at Clearfield, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5 — SYRACUSE, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 — at Northridge, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 — LAYTON, 7 p.m.

Sept. 26 — at Fremont, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 — DAVIS, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 — at Roy, 7 p.m.

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Felt’s Facts for Weber High School

All-time record: 311-491-22 (92 years)

Region championships: 7 (1948, 1952, 1964, 1985 co, 1996 co, 2017, 2018)

Playoff appearances: 19

Current playoff appearance streak: 2

All-time playoff record: 10-17

State championships: 2 (1985, 1999)

State championship record: 2-1

Most played rivalry: 74 meetings with Box Elder dating back to 1926. Box Elder leads 52-19-3.

Felt’s Factoid: Weber holds the single-game sack record (tied with Morgan) of 15, set in 1978 against Highland.

...

Last 5

  • 2018 — 7-4 (6-0 in Region 1 – 6A Quarterfinals)
  • 2017 — 9-2 (6-0 in Region 1 - 6A Quarterfinals)
  • 2016 — 3-7 (2-4 in Region 1 - Missed playoffs)
  • 2015 — 3-6 (1-5 in Region 1 - Missed playoffs)
  • 2014 — 4-7 (3-3 in Region 1 – 5A First round)

...

Weber coaching history

  • 2019 — Jayson Anderson
  • 2013-2018 — Matt Hammer (31-31)
  • 2010-2012 — Rick Corbridge (3-25)
  • 2005-2009 — Richard Murray (16-34)
  • 2003-2004 — Aaron Tillett (5-15)
  • 1994-2002 — Kory Bosgieter (49-41)
  • 1990-1993 — Glenn Prisk (13-24)
  • 1983-1989 — Rod Buckwoldt (26-38)
  • 1978-1982 — Hal Lewis (15-31)
  • 1976-1977 — Joe James (4-14)
  • 1974-1975 — Jerry Coggins (13-6)
  • 1970-1973 — Unknown (11-21-2)
  • 1967-1969 — Lee Bunnell (6-20)
  • 1965-1966 — Richard Connelly (4-13-1)
  • 1953-1964 — Mel Wood (56-43-11)
  • 1952 — Unknown (5-4-1)
  • 1948-1951 — Mel Wood (10-26-2)
  • 1945-1947 — Floyd "Slick" Slater (9-22-2)
  • 1944 — Glenn Arnett (5-2)
  • 1932-1943 — Unknown (25-55-2)
  • 1931 — Mark Ballif (2-4-1)
  • 1927-1930 — Unknown (7-19)
  • 1926 — Fred Dixon (1-5)

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Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

  • 2018 — Brandt Opheikens, MLB
  • 2018 — Hudson Schenck, CB
  • 2017 — Tysen Lewis, OT
  • 2014 — Stetson Clapp, DL

To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.